Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tank 153 - 8 April 2008

This morning I did something as I refueled my gas tank. Before I put in
the nozzle, I poured two tablespoons of Acetone into my gas tank, then
filled it up with 10.553 gallons of unleaded gas at the Fredericksburg
Costco. I had gone 398.1 miles on the tank, making for an average fuel
economy of 37.72 miles per gallon, which is about average. Nothing
spectacular. Gas cost $3.189 per gallon.

So what's up with the Acetone? Well, I read an article and saw a news
report that adding two tablespoons of acetone to each tank of gas could
drastically improve your fuel economy. Apparently, acetone is the
primary ingredient in nail polish remover. But lots of nail polish
removers have other things in them, so you can't use them. I found a
store brand nail polish remover that was labeled "100% acetone," and
although there were two ingredients listed on the label, I bought it
anyway and am hoping for the best.

I think this bottle of acetone was $3.50. I really ought to have
figured out now many ounces were in the bottle. Two tablespoons turns
out to be one ounce, to the effect is one ounce of acetone per tank of
gas. Say it's a 12 ounce bottle, and we're adding about 29 cents worth
of acetone to every $33.00 tank of gas.

And one ounce is I believe 1/128th of a gallon. Over a 10.5 gallon
tank, that means I am adding less than one one-thousandth of this
acetone contaminant to my tank. So if maybe one or two percent of the
store brand acetone is something terrible, like perfume or sand, it
seems to me that the overall amount in the entire volume of gasoline is

After noodling all this out here, I am skeptical that the addition of
something to my gas tank that represents less than one tenth of one
percent of the tank's volume can have any affect on my fuel economy.
But the news reported said his mileage went from 24 to 34, or something
crazy like that, so we will learn this together within the upcoming

However, acetone is allegedly pretty bad for lots of things, like the
paint on your car (it is nail polish remover, after all), and also
rubber things like supply lines (and apparently some cars have rubber
tubes connecting some things that gas passes through), and O-rings.
Again, in this small proportion, I am not *too* worried about corrosion
over the course of this one test tank. I put the acetone in first and
then pumped the gas, so the additive was washed down into and mixed with
the tank contents pretty good right from the start.

This is the first time I have done something like this to my car. I
wonder if it will work!

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